Thursday, December 29, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Simon Reynolds

Simon Reynolds on his favourite tune of the year, Kano’s "Reload It"

“Circling back to "Bound 4 The Reload" (arguably the first grime track, no seriously, think about it: electro-bass plus MCing) this track celebrates the pirate and rave tradition of the DJ rewind, when the crowd hollers (or home-listening audience text-messages) its demand for the selector to wheel and come again.”

“Up until grime, the trigger for rewinds would be a killer sampled vocal lick, thrilling bass-drop, or even just a mad breakbeat. Nowadays, the MC being king, the crowd clamors to hear their favourite rhymes. ‘This is what it means when DJs reload it/That sixteen was mean and he knows it,’ explains Kano, before listing the other top dog MCs who get nuff rewinds (two of them, Double and Demon, guest on the track). ‘I get a reload purely for the flow,’ Kano preens, and you can see why as he glides with lethal panache between quick-time rapping and a leisurely, drawn-out gait that seems to drag on the beat to slow it down.”

“The track itself, co-produced by Kano and Diplo, is all shimmery excitement, pivoting around a spangly filtered riff that ascends and descends the same four notes, driven by a funky rampage of live-sounding drums, and punctuated by horn samples, Beni G's scratching, and orgasmic girl-moans. The old skool breakbeat-like energy suggests an attempt to sell the notion of Grime as British hip hop, yet if Trans-Atlantic crossover is the intent, that's subverted by the lyric, its theme being as localized and Grime-reflexive as imaginable. "Reload It" encapsulates the conflicted impulses that fuel this scene: undergroundist insularity versus an extrovert hunger to engage with, and conquer, the whole wide world.”

This copy was originally written for The Wire, though I can’t see it in my issue

Simon Reynolds’ top riddims of 2005

Kano Featuring D Double E & Demon, "Reload It"

Lethal Bizzle "Against All Oddz"

Kano "Sometimes"

Bruza "Not Convince"

Three 6-Mafia "Stay Fly"

Vex'd “Degenerate” (Planet Mu)

Skream "Midnight Request Line"

Doctor, Bearman, L Man and Purple "Let It Go" From Eye Of The Tiger Vol 1

Virus Syndicate "Major List MCs" From The Work Related Illness

Roll Deep "Shake A Leg" and "When I'm Ere"

Lowdeep "Str8 Flush"

Crazy Titch "Sing Along"

SLK "Hype! Hype!" (DJ Wonder refix)

Lady Sovereign "Tango" from Bitchin EP

Ying Yang Twins "Pull My Hair" and "Wait (The Whisper Song)"

Kano "Remember Me"

Wiley "Morgue"

Kanye West "Addicted," "Crack Music", "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" (From Late Registration)

What do you mean you don't know about blissblog?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Chantelle Fiddy

2005: a year inside grime for Chantelle Fiddy

"In a nutshell, the beginning of the year was an especially exciting opener for the scene what with Kano, Roll Deep and Lethal B embarking on album projects which would garner both them and those in the sidelines greater exposure to a bigger audience. Then there was the success of tracks like 'Pow' and SLK's 'Hype, Hype'. But as the year closes, my lingering feeling on the 05 is that it's a year that's had it's many highlights marred by frustration..."

"Top of the list is not being able to blog or write about everything that goes on (be it jackings, GBH, guns, gossip, truth). At times it's due to the legals, at times through fear of retribution and because quite frankly, right here, right now it's not what I'm about. Let us not forget that blogging too has it's pitfalls (in the words of D Double 'you wanna jack my written?')."

"Exposing certain goings on in the scene would perhaps give those that follow with a close eye a greater insight into the reality of the social context we're often up against but it would also leave perhaps too much room for misinterpretation and/or speculation. Regardless, it's also time to stop making excuses for certain lazy artists and the waste entourages/managers/teams that surround them who will use any excuse to defend their business (or lack of it)."

"Take responsibility. Writing one new bar a month does not mean you're doing something with your life. If you've got to do a day job to fund your mixtape, do it. Be real to yourself and don't fall prey to the imagery and messages surrounding you. Likewise, worry about the press, free clothes and general blagging when you've got something that's actually worth talking about. Be ready to follow your word through. It's time to forget managers and what your boys tell you. Know your business, read the books, go to the free seminars and ultimately don't hate when someone less talented than you is getting props because their game plan is tighter. Respect where respect is due and this is a business we're in. Ultimately you've got to love the music, but you've got to love the game too. You get back what you put in. We don't want to be compared to the Americans but look at the work ethic and it's obvious that as it stands, we're simply not cutting it."

"While people continue to expect big deals and success to be delivered on a plate, the scene will remain where it is at the end of 05: stunted. Don't get me wrong, musically it's still as exciting as ever but MC's are going to have to up their game now. Shit's getting boring. Come different. Come original. Tell us what's really going on and please, isn't it time more people took responsibility for the messages getting putting out there? There's no time for excuses, there's a generation listening and waiting in the wings (hopefully not Pentonville or Brixton). Don't underestimate your power."

"Likewise, we have to look at the 'fans'. Yeah, those of you who go to raves and have them locked off because you haven't grown bigger than your shoe size or the length of your penis. You've left the school playground behind, this is life and some of you idiots also happen to be 'artists'. Now you wonder why it's only the Shoreditch massive laying on the parties? We're the only ones who can get venues! Then we have the 'supporters', begging, downloading and bootlegging. Know the reality of what you're doing - you're aiding and abetting in the impeding of a scene that's financially struggling. If people aren't eating, people aren't making. Kano's album may have sold 70,000 but I'm betting near on a few hundred thousand own that."

"Finally let us not be weighed down by the fruitlessness of segregating the likes of Sway from Wiley, Klashnekoff from Jammer... Play and listen to what you want, but don't let your opinion of a genre and all that comes with it hamper what the UK's building. We've got to work together if we want to build a successful industry. Let's stand up, build the foundations and with no excuses. 2006, let's own it!"

Fiddy's top moments and tunes of the '05


Kano “Home Sweet Home”
Various “Run The Road 2”
Bossman's “Street Anthems”
Logan Sama “Sidewinder Bonus CD”
”Aim High 2”
”Practice Hours”
”Risky Roadz”


Roll Deep “When I'm Ere”
Low Deep “Straight Flush/Cheeky Violin”
Lady Sovereign “Hoodie Remix”
Skepta “Duppy”
JME “Serious”
Jammer “Murkleman”
Sway “Up Your Speed Remix”
Skream “Midnight Request Line”
NASTY “Run 4 Cover”
Plan B “Sick 2 Def/Young Girl”
SLK “Hype, Hype (DJ Wonder remix)”
Wiley & Ruff Sqwad “Sidewinder”
Slew Dem “Grime”


Grimey Awards @ Rex, Paris with Maximum, Wiley, Skepta & JME
i-D Live @ Cargo, London
Straight Outta Bethnal @ 333, London
Run The Road @ Fabric, London
FWD @ Plastic People, London (especially Ms Dynamites show and the various MC cameo's)

For more Fiddy: no long ting

Friday, December 23, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Klute

Drum & bass producer and all round music enthusiast, Klute

Blackdown: Jess Harvell suggested on Pitchfork Media that this year has been worse for d&b than 2004, primarily because there's been less 'leftfield' d&b. do you think 2005 has been better or worse than 2004 and why?

Klute: that’s a very tough one to answer. To be simple and get straight to the point though I'll stick my neck out and half agree with him. Musically and morale-wise I think it’s on a pretty low ebb, but then again that could be a very important stage in the gestation of a new rising. Personally I'm not concerned that things be ‘leftfield’ or not, I just like to see a spread in depths of emotions and as far as I can see the majority of d&b produced this year is very surface orientated.

B: is it essential to have both depth and energy? Is d&b swinging into the abstract 'leftfield' as much a mistake as making noisy, disposable dancefloor fodder?

K: I think d&b is really suffering from people establishing factions and sticking to that one thing and shouting about how their banner is the best.

B: But doesn’t that mean they are able to push forward a coherent musical direction rather than doing 'a bit of this and a bit of that'?

K: I guess that’s the nature of it, but from my perspective I'm seeing a lot of isolation happening. We're all guilty of it, but I think it’s a problem.

B: Are some producers guilty of just aiming to make harder, noisier, angrier music?

K: I'm not sure if that’s exactly the main problem. The really popular stuff tends to be incredibly simple and stupid sounding. There can be magic in any type of sound, and if everyone wasn’t so isolated I think the exposure would open us all up a bit and hopefully dampen down the monotony.

B: I always get the impression you seem to be looking for something, a vibe or a buzz maybe... you tell me. Do you know what you're looking for out of d&b or will you only know it when you find it?

K: I've quite a wide ranging taste in music and I’m constantly listening and buying as much new music as I can. Perhaps one of the faults of that is not being able to concentrate on one thing for long enough to see the whole picture. For me I see a buzz in what’s currently going on with techno/house out in Europe, dubstep and also in film scores.

B: But yet you've concentrated your production quite a lot on d&b, more so than any other genre...

K: I guess that’s my current field of expertise but I do also write a fair amount of "other music." For the last 10 years I certainly have produced a majority of d&b, probably as its been the most exciting for me. Making other music is really a case of me having to give myself a kick to remember to do it. I go through big phases. Right now I’m going through a non-d&b phase. Writing mostly one kind of style becomes very habit forming and for me it’s a matter of breaking that habit.

B: Isn't that where the most important/influential producers succeed: they break through their own habits and production conventions in ways that work?

K: Well, I don’t know about that. Everyone has their own way. Some people just stumble across it. I think if you want to stick around for a while you need to constantly question what you’re doing, why and how its done. That’s my personal method.

B: what tunes have made you excited this year (inc d&b)?

K: Well, there’s an album by a guy called Michael Manning called “Public”. He's apparently 19 and making music with shocking maturity… well I was shocked. I was taken aback by a Kode 9 tune that was called “Blues” at the time but has since been renamed “Kingstown”. Nathan Fake “Dinamo.” And d&b wise a tune or two by Amit, the same with Break ... and me!

B: It's healthy you're excited by your own tunes, do you know producers that are actually not excited by their own music?

K: Yes, I know a lot who aren’t. I know a lot who just churn it out. That can happen when you make one kind of music. I think you sometimes forget why you’re doing it. This is why I like to write albums. It gives me a sense of purpose.

B: How could journalism best help d&b?

K: By being constructively critical, but that in itself is really hard to do, but I have seen it! Some American guy reviewed by album online somewhere and essentially addressed what I personally thought were the shortcomings of it and it really pleased me. More than 90% of good reviews. He'd actually listened to the thing.

B: I'm not trying to force you into defending d&b, but isn’t it the case that the vast majority of d&b artists would have reacted in the opposite way to you after a bad review, often in a very aggressive way?

K: Well, in most cases I'd be defensive as well, but then I also tend to get defensive with some favourable reviews as well. I get annoyed when I get the impression the reviewer hasn’t really bothered to listen.

B: A lot of d&b contains sonic references to 'e'. given that acid house happened over 15 years ago, are these references still valid?

K: i think E has a very different effect on the collective psyche these days. Perhaps its a very different drug these days, maybe its to do with critical mass. Perhaps its just stabbing at memories. It's going to take something else to bring back those feelings.

B: what have i missed? what question is begging to be asked of d&b?
K: is the culling coming?
B: Ahaha
B: and what is the answer to your question do you think?
K: I dont think its far off
K: its more a case of people losing their fleeting interests
B: producers or fans?

K: Well, thats a question in itself. Where do you draw the line? What is a fan and what is a producer? One of d&b's greatest assets is also one of its greatest downfalls. The fact that its one of the most DIY get onboard stlyes out there. The moment a "fan" makes a tune on Reason he becomes part of the machine. I'm not here to place myself above anyone in that regard. The proof is in perseverence.

Klute's top 10 sounds for 2005

1. Michael manning "Public LP" (ai)
2. Confutatis "Obsession" (ai)
3. Shed "Stronghold" (solo action)
4. Kode 9 "Kingstown (dub)" (Hyperdub)
5. Amit "MK Ultra" (Commercial Suicide)
6. Basil Kirchin "Abstractions of the Industril North" (Trunk)
7. Michael Andrews WMe & You & Everyone We Know" (soundtrack)
8. Cocteau Twins "Box set" (4ad)
9. Skream "Traitor" (Ital)
10. Dkay "Serenade" (Brigand)

For more info on Klute check the Commercial Suicide site

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Kid Kameleon

In 2005 Kid Kameleon asked one simple question: Remix?

"2005 has completely blurred the line between original work, mash-up, dj mix and remix. Labels like XL are releasing M.I.A.’s vocals and encouraging remixes, then signing the best ones. Artists like Aaron Spectre are loading whole DJ sets into Ableton Live, chopping and remixing the track components on the fly."

"Mashup artists like Jstar are taking vocals from one source and beats from another, then adding enough of their own production to create a hybrid beast. As ever, producers borrow musical or vocal samples, while others pay MCs to completely recreate a track and then tweak it into something new."

"As companies like Sony wheel up outdated copyright ideas with things like the DRM Root Kit, smart musicians and organizations like the EFF realize that healthy musical innovation depends on an open source model getting a forward."

10 2005 essentials from Kid Kameleon

01. Eight Frozen Modules "DJ, Riddim, and Source" [Planet Mu]
02. Deadbeat "New World Observor" [~scape]
03. Aaron Spectre "Life We Promote" [Self Released]
04. Debaser/DJ C "Crazy Baldheads" [Mashit]
05. Rotator "Dissident Sound Maniac" [Peace Off]
06. Jstar ... everything by [Jstar Music]
07. Skream ... everything by [Ital/Big Apple/Tempa]
08. Ripley "Ich Bin Defekt" [Death$ucker]
09. Beck "Guero" [Geffen]
10. The Eff []

Read more by Kid Kameleon at

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Burial

2005 according to Burial

"2005 - the only thing I remember properly was at 9am on the 7th of July. I was walking across London crossing from south into central London. I usually get Northern Line but had to go a different way 'cos the underground was fucked. I had headphones on; I was listening to tunes, just lost in it but I could tell vibes around me were offkey and weird. You could feel it. So I took the headphones off and overheard people saying all this stuff. People were ringing me but getting cut off."

"I spent the next hours like everyone watching TV, hearing rumours, telling family I was OK, then getting upset and angry. Then I walked out... you could feel in the air, the streets were empty. I began to walk three hours south back home. People were like refugees walking back, police everywhere telling us to get back at Vauxhall."

"It was weird because I've only ever seen bits of south London and the west end and you don't ever get a feel of London around you. You only usually get this when you're in a car going through it at night or something. I tried to listen to headphones on way back but couldn't."

"That day was like this big trek across my city and you could feel it like it had been hurt, you know: these were like other Londoners. It was horrible, people from work were on bombed trains, people they knew were killed. It was just fucked. I was listening to a compilation I'd made a few days before. Just a bunch of random tunes. I'd made this CD for me to listen to on my way back into London from my girlfriend's house. It was meant to be this kind of deep nighttime London tunes."

"The compilation had some amazing tunes on it, but I didn't listen to anything for weeks after. The tunes I was listening to were various stuff. Some Digital Mystikz, Skream and Rinse mixes, but also some sort of big club tunes, like vocal things, It had this Seba and Paradox tune on it 'Move On'. I was listening to that when I first felt it."

"I've always had a love-hate thing with London but now I thought 'I love this place.' I was also like 'fuck these people who did this.' It was the underground, on the bus... I can't think about it. The music just got sad to me, I was also listening to 'Hold Tight London' by the Chemical Brothers - that tune runs deep for a commercial tune. All the dubstep and jungle shit became like comfort music: the sorrow just came out of it. I felt the music deeper from that point on."

"Space and my surroundings in London have got into my music a lot. I spent my whole train journey to school busting around listen to jungle. Those Photek tunes, they were like nighttime train music to me! I tried to do some artwork for a Burial album recently. I did a figure in a landscape, just standing there in London. It's part of it."

"The space in my tunes is like ... the vocal bits and sound echoing across the surface of it, across the drums... distant buildings, empty streets, a nighttime world ... and that's how London pirates sound to me. Eerie far off ... the tunes I love on the best pirates sound like that.

"A burial album would sound deep and hypnotic at the start. Just like someone picking themselves up, fixing up, getting by. The middle of the album would be proper underground more rolled out and then the end would be club tunes, like 'he made it out of there,' like a celebration of UK d&b dubstep jungle rave garage party tunes."

"But the whole thing would be sad. I can't help it. London feels sad to me, but there's uplift in there, even if it rinses you out. It's something about where I live maybe. I only know south but I know how it feels in my area, always has since I was a kid I never moved far."

"I make tunes in a room looking out of this window and I've got this mad light almost like a gaslight outside. I live next to a prison so that’s half of the view from my room, the other half is prison land. I think where gallows used to be but I dunno, doubt it. The rest is a fucking massive dual carriage way all the way from Streatham down towards the Thames. You can see for miles all the way to the river, past the river and when it’s foggy like it was today, it’s a mad view.”

Tunes Burial loved in 2005

1. Digital Mystikz "Misty Winter"
2. Loefah - everything by Loefah
3. Omni Trio "Torn"
4. Foul Play "Being With You Remix"
5. Digital Spirit "Cool Out"
6. Plastikman "Contain"
7. Speedy J "Tesla"
8. Robert Hood "Stark Reality"
9. Skanna "All you wanted"
10. Husker Du "Chartered Trips"
11. Teebee "Let Go"
12. Chemical Brothers "Hold Tight London"
13. Paradox & Seba - "Move On"

New Burial tunes and what he was thinking about when he made

1. Brutal Deluxe
"I was thinking of food, McDonalds and Speedball on the Amiga."

2. "YearOne LP"
"I was thinking about ... loads of things."

3. "Prayer"
"I was thinking about my brothers."

4. "DistantLights"
"I was thinking of the kind of shit I want to hear that isn't studioboy weak fucking clumpy drum fake tunes. I was wanting to sound like old jungle and 2step ...."

5 - "Sarcophagus"
"It's first tune on the long lost never to be released Burial album. I was in a bleak mood, bad minded, so..."

6 "U Hurt Me"
"I wanted to do a tune for my brothers to hear, something different. A 'me against the world' vibe tune, but it kind of turned out an uplifting tune, not heavy and moody because that was boring me. Like a fucking party tune, but with a sad vocal. I sort of dream they'd somehow play it at DMZ."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Gutterbreakz

2005 according to Gutterbreakz

"Having discovered dubstep online in 2004, this was the year that I experienced it in it's natural state - spun off dubplates, pumping through a sick soundsystem in a dark, enclosed space; the bass frequencies sending earth tremors up my spinal column, squeezing my throat in an oppressive yet inviting embrace. Although I've yet to make the trek to dubstep's South London homeland, it's been fascinating to witness and chronical the scene's gradual growth here in Bristol, arguably dubstep's second city thanks to the efforts of local supporters like DJ Pinch and ThinKing. Subloaded II in April will live on as one of the heaviest sonic experiences of my life."

"It's also been intriguing to observe the virus spreading, not just in terms of a global fanbase, but also the way it is being absorbed within other realms of the electronica spectrum. Artists's from backgrounds in IDM, breakcore, etc are now twisting the blueprint to their own devious purposes, creating new hybrids and possible futures for this music. Who knows where we'll be this time next year?"

"Here's my attempt at a Top 10 releases of 2005, which is by no means definitive, nor in any particular order, but hopefully covers most of the essential artists, labels and tunes that shook my world this year..."

Gutterbreakz' 10 for '05

Coki - Officer/Mood Dub (DMZ)
DJ Youngsta - Dubstep Allstars Vol.2 (Tempa mix CD)
Burial - South London Boroughs EP (Hyperdub)
Vex'd - Degenerate (Planet Mu LP)
Mark One - Plodder/Devil Man (Contagious)
Loefah & Skream - 28g/Fearless (Tectonic)
Various - Our Sound (Destructive LP)
Monkey Steak - Grim Dubs Vol.1 (Werk)
D1 - I Believe (Soulja)
Boxcutter - Brood/Sunshine (Hotflush)

For more Gutta, check his blog as always.

Incoming 2006: Dubstep Allstars vol.3 mixed by Kode9 feat. the Spaceape

Dubstep Allstars Vol.3
Kode9 feat. the Spaceape

1. Kode9 - Nine Samouri (hyperdub)
2. Pressure & Warrior Queen - Dem a Bomb We (dub)
3. Geneeus - U Know Me(dub)
4. Digital Mystikz - Haunted(dub)
5. Skream - I (Loefah remix) (dub)
6. D1 - Bamboo (dub)
7. Skream - Groovin(dub)
8. Digital Mystikz - New LIfe Baby Paris(dub)
9. Calenda - Forever(dub)
10. Digital Mystikz - Heartless Ninja(dub)
11. Skream - 0800 dub(dub)
12. Digital Mystikz- Molten(dub)
13. Skream - Tortured Soul(dub)
14. Digital Mystikz - Intergalactic(dub)
15. Loefah - Ruffage(dub)
16. DJ Krave - Minor Skank(dub)
17. N-Type - Way of the Dub(dub)
18. Skream - Colourful(dub)
19. Benga - Mammoth (Plasticman Remix)(dub)
20. Random Trio - Haunted Rmx(dub)
21. Skream - Korma (dub)
22. D1 - ET (dub)
23. Plasticman - Unhappy Shopper (dub)
24. Blackdown - dis/East (dub)
25. Geiom - Overnight Biscuits(dub)
26. D1 - Cocaine (dub)
27. Random Trio - Rebel(dub)
28. Burial - Prayer(dub)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Plasticman

2005 according to Plasticman

“2005 has been perhaps my best year in the industry so far, I thought 2004 would be hard to top but this year has been really special.”

“Something I've felt really strongly about in 2005 is the lack of distribution we have in our scene. After travelling all over the world, I am repeatedly being asked "where can we get this stuff?" and I feel stupid when all I can say in reply is "there are some online stores".”

“Fair enough we are in the age of the internet but how many DJ's do you know who actually do all of their record shopping online? In all my time as a DJ I think I've only bought records online once - there's no substitute for chilling in a record shop hearing the tunes properly and just chatting with the staff and customers. That’s what record shopping is all about - digging through crates or spotting something you like the look of on the shelf.”

“This is why we need to get our music onto shelves out of the UK. A lot of people will argue "it's not selling enough in the UK yet" but I believe these people are the same people who really want grime to hit the top ten in the singles chart. I just want a healthy underground scene in which artists can live off of their music sales - like that of the drum and bass scene, which sells tens of thousands worldwide.”

“So that’s one thing I feel strongly about. On a final note: stop calling my music dubstep! It's simply grime without a vocal on top of it wasteguys! You want to hear dubstep listen to DMZ, Youngsta, Loefah, Hatcha - they are the dons and my sound is totally different to that. Next person to write that I am dubstep will get a wonderpalm to the jawside with my Nintendo Powerglove.”

Plasticman’s top ten Grime tunes in 2005

1. Macabre Unit “Lift Off”
I signed it for a reason - the tune is ridiculously deep

2. Skream “Request Line”
Made every trip to DMZ & FWD worthwile

3. Jammer “Merkle Man”
The video made it even better

4. JME “Baraka”
I was inspired by playing Mortal Kombat to show JME this track from it - then he murked the tune

5. Wiley “Sidewinder”
Perfect vocal tune, full of energy and no hip hop sounding beats underneath

6. Lethal Bizzle “Against All Oddz”
I didn't think an MC would do Funeral Vibes justice but Lethal excelled

7. Skepta “Duppy”
I never thought 4 to the floor would make a grime comeback - cheeky production idea!

8. Davinche “Phase”
Nice to hear Davinche take a step away from the hip hop flex - this tune murks

9. Mark One “Plodder”
Got big off being on the FWD advert for about 4 months!

10. Plasticman “Cha (vocal mix)”
Should be out by now really, but Shizzle's chorus smacked it all year!

For all the latest Plasticman news check his blog

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Philip Sherburne

Philip Sherburne’s year in techno 2005

“First things first: put as much stock in my proclamations as you wish, but know that they're above all personal. I've been lucky enough to travel a lot in the past several years, to many countries on four continents, though often - ironically - in pursuit of music from a very narrow, and northern-oriented scene. (For those of you who don't know me, that'd be techno - as minimal as you like, thanks.) But at the very least my travels (and I wouldn't discount "traveling" on the internet via blogs and newsgroups and private filesharing communities) has reminded me of the limits of my perspective. I listened to very little that wasn't techno this year; I lost interest in grime almost as soon as its emphasis shifted from producers to vocalists, and I'd be hard-pressed to name you the title of a single tune from this year, outside "Midnight Request Line" (which may turn out to be dubstep's big crossover hit — shit, even Ricardo Villalobos reportedly played it at Fabric). But I can't deny that grime/dubstep and whatever else it's mutating into is clearly, based on what I hear from its supporters, doing things that deserve merit. A few years, my top 10 list would have been a good split between techno, grimey sounds, and more esoteric things; this year, I agonized that my "Critical Beats" column for The Wire was, with a few exceptions for "action" and R&B, pretty damn techno (and white). I had no choice to go with what I knew.”

“The techno and 'ardkore continuums keep branching out, like they always have. For those of us who remain committed to "electronic music," "dance music," whatever you want to call it, but retain particular allegiances to certain styles, I think it's important to step back from the big picture and admit that we're not experts in any larger sense; we can only know what we seek out. And for all but a few extraordinarily curious, perseverant, canny and intelligent writers and listeners, the further we travel down a certain rabbit hole, the harder it gets to hear the thumping in the other tunnels.”

“Having supplicated, allow me to evangelize for a moment. Techno really did pick up considerable speed this year, both within the scene and, more surprisingly, in American indie-mainstream media and even the UK prog house scene (which, perhaps realizing the imminence of its aesthetic bankruptcy, decided to invest in German properties). When I say "techno" I really mean what goes variously by the names "electro-house," "minimal," and "minimal techno," though the categories be fluid and the descriptors thin.”

“The year began with ubiquitous club tracks like Tomas Andersson's "Washing Up" and Roman Flügel's "Geht's Noch," and ballooned to enormous proportions with the psychedelic neo-prog of Border Community artists Nathan Fake and James Holden. M.A.N.D.Y. vs Booka Shade's "Mandarine Girl," crowned "track of the summer" in Ibiza this year, served as the caulking between those two slab-like styles, along with tracks like Einmusik's "Jittery Heritage," rocketing tight riffs into faraway orbits. Acid maintained its cruising velocity, sometimes serving as welcome throwback club filler, and sometimes morphing into surprising forms. (Les Visiteur's "Drop it Like It's Hot" mix sits somewhere in between those two poles.) And retro leanings swelled in the graceful, machinic work of Sleep Archive and his increasingly numerous followers.”

“None of this stuff is really minimal, despite the fact that most of it wears the tag on its sleeve (not Get Physical so much, but oddly, some of their shit - like half of Chelonis R Jones' album, for instance - is far sparser than half of what came out on Kompakt or even Perlon this year). The stuff that used the smallest sounds was bigger and busier than ever (and sometimes, as on Dominik Eulberg's remix for Hell, hid some serious dynamite strapped underneath its sleek, Dior Homme-proportioned vest). Rhythms got stickier, pricklier and more syncopated than ever. Micro-edit experts like Eulberg and Robag Wruhme stuck out, but there were morsels of pure rhythmic inspiration to be found everywhere: Guido Schneider, Matt John, Anja Schneider and her Mobilee label, Alex Smoke, Onur Özer… I could go on, but my apartment has no heating and it hurts to flip through records. (I sort of kid, but this is also a new development, at least for me: despite the ubiquity of certain names, there were more new and unknown-to-me talents this year than in ages, to the point that I could no longer keep artists, titles or labels straight in my mind — they all just blurred into that faceless techno supersystem that they aspire to, beyond identity. Say what you will about the flow of Hawtin's DE9|Transitions mix CD, which spun hundreds of track snippets together in an inextricable mesh; in exploiting the post-identity phase of the best current techno, he tapped into something. Ironically, of course, Hawtin and his most recent press photos represent the peak of celebrity, as far as this scene goes, so who knows exactly where this leaves us.)”

“In 2006 I expect to be writing a lot about the line. Even as techno has fractured internally this year, its overarching scope has become more unified, whether in the trancy melodies of Wruhme's mix for Triola or the neverending undulations of Sleep Archive. This new direction occurred to me while I was writing the press sheet for Ricardo Villalobos' Achso EP for Cadenza (thus full disclosure, etc. etc.). In recent years, even as Villalobos has launched himself into the stratosphere of "superstar DJs," his productions have run deeper and deeper underground, til they feel like water trickling through rocks and loose soil. On Achso, drums disintegrate at will and even looped percussive sequences never seem to stop mutating; but amidst so much chaos emerge long, meandering lines - stringed instruments, voices, pure sourceless sound - that snake unimpeded through the (d)evolutionary ruckus around them. Villalobos is a master of this kind of double intensity, but he's not the only one pursuing its path; Isolée and Lindstrom, for example, are burrowing similar holes through disco. And while acid throwbacks and jock-rock coke-techno and ballsy rave bombast will assuredly continue to reign on floors in 2006, I suspect that this thread will continue to bind things together in unexpected ways, drawing techno ever tighter into a Cat's Cradle of productively conflicting energies.”

Philip Sherburne’s top tech 10 for 2005

Isolée “My Hi-Matic” (Playhouse)
M83 “Teen Angst (Luciano Remix)” (Mute)
Motiivi:Tuntematon “1939” (Freundinnen)
Triola “Leuchtturm (Wighnomy's Polarzipper Remix)” (Kompakt)
Nathan Fake “Dinamo” (Traum)
Matias Aguayo “Drums & Feathers” (Kompakt)
Hell “Follow You (Dominik Eulberg Remix)”
Tori Alamaze “Don't Cha” (Universal)
Les Visiteurs “Snoop's Acid Drop” (white label)
Paul Kalkbrenner “Tatü-Tata” (Bpitch Control)

For more of Philip Sherburne’s writing check his Pitchfork Media column or his blog

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Kode 9

2005 - what stuck in Kode 9's memory

"Transport masochism and geo-politics playing out beneath the surface of London. Daytime apocalypse TV and the security vacuum around Oval tube 7/7. Travelling underground through (Baby)lon(don)'s ecology of fear. Distraction in the factory of potential death. Paranoid, racist stares and the twitchy, uncomfortable fidgeting of underground man suspended in surreal tension amidst a Metro paper jungle of atrocity headlines and snapshots of contorted, melted metal. Tube daydreams of incineration bleeding into claustrophobic blrd flu dread. Acute awareness of damp respiration vector currents during rush hour meat compression, and olfactory alerts to the slightest hint of burning. Moist residue of sweaty palm prints on handrails. The (long overdue) demonization of the backpack and bumbag."

Kode 9's Top 10 for 2005

1. Skream – 'Request Line'
2. Pressure feat. Warrior Queen – 'Dem a Bomb We'
3. Roll Deep – 'Sidewinder'
4. Digital Mystikz - 'Stuck'
5. Digital Mystikz - 'Neverland'
6. 'Terror Danjah & Trim – 'Boogeyman'
7. Digital Mystikz – 'Officer'
8. Burial – 'Broken Home'
9. Trim & Scratch 'Trim & Scratch'
10. Hundreds of Rinse sets on mp3

Friday, December 16, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Prancehall

2005 according to gully skeng man Prancehall

"Do you remember that bit in The Exorcist where Linda Blair's head's spinning around and green stomach bile is erupting from her mouth like that kinda thing is in fashion? Well, try to imagine the same scene if Skepta was in an Akademiks nightie and instead of calling out 'Karen', he was spraying out the names of MCs, while Father Jammer was sprinkling the booth with Holy Ribena and popping off shots as each name was bellowed out."

"Only then can you comprehend the merkery that they've both been dishing out. Jammer (who has turned up to every grime event this year with a CD in his pocket on the off chance he can hijack the stage and do a live PA of 'Murkle Man') has been getting the biggest reloads ever witnessed, while Skepta has been showering down MCs quicker than you can make a man say 'OH MY DIDDY'."

"Add to this, the fact that they've both only been MCing for a matter of months, and you can see why this year quite deservedly belongs to Jam and Skep."

1. The Jammer prank call mp3 and his ‘Murkle Man’ video
2. All of the sped-up-vocalled tracks by Low Deep
3. Tinchy Stryder - ‘Underground’ (and everything else Tinchy and Ruff Sqwad have made, apart from ‘Uptown Girl’ which is swag)
4. Skepta - ‘Duppy’ (and Skepta’s ‘Winnie The Pooh’ bars)
5. Logan Sama using the word 'dichotomy' on the Rinsessions DVD (and his Brussels promo mix)
6. Wiley - ‘Tunnel Vision’ (and anything else Wiley has produced)
7. Skream - ‘Midnight Request Line’
8. Ears - ‘Lend Me Your Ears’ (and his bars on Spooky’s ‘Joyride’, which is also a big track)
9. The sound of a reload
10. Plasticman - ‘Japan’ (and the track he produced for Lethal B’s album and the ‘Still Tippin’ remix and basically everything he’s made... I also wanna mention Mark One - ‘Plodder’, but I‘m out of space).

Prancehall's been going on dutty for a minute still. In 2006 catch his new show on London's leading Rinse FM

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Joe Nice

The year according to DJ Joe Nice

"For 2005, I've felt most strongly about my disdain for our president, George Bush."

"I dont understand how one man could single-handedly ruin a nation, but it seems that GW has achieved the impossible. He's snatched the 2000 election from Al Gore and 250 million Americans (and more worldwide) groaned when his 2004 re-election was executed over 12 months ago. I would like to know why we are still fighting a war in Iraq. I would like to know why his response to the people of New Orleans has been slow and why Americans were suffering with no food and no water for a week. I hope to have the answers to these questions... one day. Sooner... rather than later."


1. Augustus Pablo "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown."
I'm not sure dub gets any better than this.

2. Stevie Wonder "Songs in the Key of Life"

3. King Tubby "Dance Hall Dub"

4. Anything by Luther Vandross.
His death on July 1, 2005 might be the saddest personal event for me this calendar year.

5. Alicia Keys "Unbreakable."
The lyrics to this tune are poetry.

6. Prince "Small Club."
It's a bootleg 2CD set of an aftershow in The Hague, Netherlands; Aug, 18, 1988. It's the way I believe live performances should be. Creative. Intimate. Personal. Spontaneous. It's Prince at the absolute height of his powers.

7. DanGee & JohnAsk "Live @ Sonar mix."
I will continue to beat the drum for these guys...even when they seem to prefer to remain obscure. They played the lounge at Sonar (a club in Baltimore) for the evening and as usual, I was armed with the mini-disc recorder. I've heard them do their thing before, but August 20, 2005 was different. They were magical... and I was happy to be there for the whole evening... front and center.

Hear the mixes here: HOUSE, DUB and BEATS

8. Godfather Sage "June 11, 2005."
Kian, aka Godfather Sage threw down the best d&b set I've heard in a long time... maybe ever. Another magical performance. This mix will stand the test of time.
Listen HERE.

9. Digital Mystikz "Officer."
Years from now, people from all walks of life, will be playing this tune.

10. Fertile Ground "Black Is..."
They're the next big name in acid/contemporary jazz. And... they're local. I'm so proud of them.

Check Joe Nice's DJs sets in a club 2006 or listen to his radio show on Go Team Nice!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Sarah Bentley

2005 according to Sarah Bentley

"I’m all about repping for home grown talent whether its grime, drum ‘n’ bass, hip hop, soul or reggae, and 2005 has been a fat-one of a year. Rapper Richochet Klasnekoff, grime lyricist No-Lay, soul diva Alice Russell and soul/jazz powerhouse Eska gave me musical goose bumps every time I was privileged to see them perform."

"A self confessed culture junkie I spend a lot of time checking out movements going off outside the mainstream and underground UK music radar. Besides bhangra, salsa, baile funk, soca and zouk parties 2005 saw some killer Polish hip hop, Turkish dance and Urban Latin nights kicking off. It’s not easy to represent when you’re in a tiny minority so hats off to them."

"The UK’s Latino population stood up to be counted when Puerto Rican reggaeton artists Daddy Yankee and Speedy made it into the charts. Bored of the Salsa phenomena their parents brought to the UK ten years ago, 2005 saw second generation UK born Latino’s build their own scene of latin hip hop/reggaeton artists, parties and media networks. Check out their growing movement on – it’s a lot more than Ai papies and Culos shaking, but that’s there if you want it."

"This year I also breathed a sigh of relief when Asian artists such as Tiger Stylz, The Kray Twinz and Rishie Rich, artists usually kept within the confines of the hardcore bhangra scene, stopped being treated as novelty’s and were acknowledged as part of the wider UK street music movement. About bloody time too."

"Now I’d like to get on my soap box just for a minute. Exciting as 2005 has been with regards to the growth of British street music, it’s bugging me how the UK industry is using the term 'urban.' Does urban mean you’re black? Does urban mean you live in a tower block? Are you urban if you’re black but live in a cottage on Dartford moors? Are you urban if you’re white but have a large collection of co-ordinating tracksuits and say ‘you get me’ a lot?"

"A sickeningly over-used and weakly definable term it’s as if categorising things as black, Asian or simply by music genre is no longer acceptable. Worse still, it forces artists whom look or sound or come from certain social backgrounds to conform to limiting stereotypes. Imagine a major label A&R’s quandary. 'What do you mean you’re a black folk singer who plays guitar? How can you hold an instrument and a gun at the same time? It doesn’t make sense. Where can I put you? Enough of this nonsense, show me how you shake your ass.'”

"Harsh as this may sound it’s true and therefore a monumental big up must go to Charlie Dark, Chris Ofili, CDR and Icebox for addressing this issue with their inspiring Freeness project. A direct assault on the ‘URBAN’ myth it’s an album that features black and Asian artists from around the UK making music the majors would have a tricky time choosing a shelf label for in HMV. Made entirely outside the constraints of sales, the CD was given out in youth centres, record shops and through the freeness website. Log on to and be enlightened."

"Leaving Blighty’s drizzly shores for a minute I have to pay homage to the superb new generation of roots reggae artists that came to the fore in 2005. I love getting wild to raw dancehall as much as the next bass-loving gyal. But let’s face the past years dancehall offerings have been well below par and it we’re hardly going to learn any valuable life lessons by logging on, stepping pon a chi chi man in a blasé style whilst doing the chakka chakka, signalling a plane and putting our AK’s over the wall now are we?"

"Addressing issues such as prostitution, drug abuse, gun crime and world wide government fuckery were I Wayne, Fantan Mojah, Jah Mason, Jah Cure, Turbulence, Richie Spice, Chezidek, Warrior King and Ras Shiloh. Keep this kind of lyrical fire burning into 2006 and I’ll be a happy lady."

"A final lighter flash must go to the UK’s most criminally over looked roots reggae artist Chukki Starr. Overcoming the inherent difficulties of trying to make it in reggae whilst based in England, Chukki stuck two fingers up to our dodgy reggae labels (Greensleeves excluded) and rights stealing reggae producers to produce, record and release his finest album to date – ‘Can’t Stop It’ – through his own imprint Starrdom Productions. Chukki you’re big."

Sarah B’s 2005 Top 12

1: Turbulence “Notorious”
Penniless JA label THC made the Hip-Hop/reggae smash of the year!

2: Foxy Brown & Sizzla “Come Fly With Me”
US Hip Hop ghetto queen meets Jamaica’s most militant deejay in the club

3: Sean Paul “Never Gonna Be The Same single”
Sean touching tribute to fallen dancehall artist Doddigan

4: Ricochet Klasnekoff “Murda single”
After this track I’d follow this man into battle

5: No Lay “Unorthodox Daughter” (white label)
Dropping it raw and direct with undeniable skill

6: I Wayne “Living In Love” and “Can’t Satisfy Her”
An incredible voice and an uncompromising mantra

7: All of Eska’s live performances
A life altering experience and warm hug rolled into one

8: Roots Manuva’s ‘Awfully Deep’ LP (Big Dada)
Fuck chart success – this is about honesty, integrity and evolution

9: Damian Marley “Welcome To Jamrock”
Finally a track Daddy can be proud of

10: 3 Six Mafia “The Most Known Unknowns” LP
They might promote hoe slapping but this crew’s relentless work ethic cannot be denied.

11: Seu Jorge’s “Cru”
This Brazilian actor, musician and god of favela blues is perhaps the coolest man on the planet

12: Lethal B & Fire Camp “Pow”
Genius! The best spat of catchy lyrics committed to wax in years

Blackdown: Last time I saw Sarah, London had taken to the streets after the tube was bombed. She'd had the misfortune to chose the 7th of July organize a photoshoot ... on the underground. Very unfortunate timing. Contact Sarah on

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Skepta

Skepta on his 2005:

"This year I joined Roll Deep. JME joined first, then Wiley heard me spit. He encouraged me to MC and then asked me to join."

"There’s been a lot of beef this year. Of course the Wiley and Lethal B thing was always going on and that fed to the rest of the crew: we had to back Wiley."

"Then one day Jammer and me were sitting in his house and we thought, ‘why don’t we just diss everyone, all these waste MCs?’ Now people I’ve never even met are dissing me. People who, if I met at my mum’s house, I wouldn’t even know who they were."

"But I’m gonna stop slewing. I’m gonna go on radio and stop it because I’m no crazed weed smoker, I’m in full control of what I’m doing. Plus I think I’ve won all my battles. Flirta D’s manager called me, he asked me to stop slewing Flirta because it’s messing up his career."

"I’ve had a few hits this year too. I’ve made a 4x4 tune and it got big. I did it because our scene came from there and I wondered what would happen if you brought the two scenes back together again. I’ve done a vocal version with [old school MC] Creed on the chorus and JME, Wiley, Trim, me and Bear Man on the verses. It’s called ‘Doing it Again’ – I’m gonna give it to EZ exclusive for Christmas. Then it’s going on my album."

"I’m putting my album out myself. I’ve been in them meetings with those A&R guys, and what do they have that I don’t? Their money is no use to me, I can make it off white labels. My music is my money. I can’t be stopped because I make the music, I vocal the tracks and I’m putting it out myself - in partnership with Geeneus on Nu Era. It’s got production from Geeneus, Wiley and JME on it."

"The LP’s gonna be called ‘More Than Grime’ because grime’s not a good enough name for our scene. Everywhere I go in the world they use the name ‘grime’ but it’s just UK rap at a different speed."

"Everyone’s waiting to be signed but there isn’t enough money for everyone in the scene to sign to a major. Sway put his own album out and he won a MOBO. Why can’t we do the same? I’ll buy advertising and put on a good live show, so what’s the difference? I bet once I do it, everyone else starts to put their own albums out too."

"I also got into FWD>> this year. I never knew of the scene properly before. I’d been listening to Newham Generals’ show and I went down to FWD>> with Wiley and Gift and got into it. I’m a musician, I listen to all kinds of music and I’ve taken to it a lot."

"I really got into ‘Request Line’ by Skream. I started rewinding it on the Roll Deep show. I have some influence now and I’m trying to do some good with it. Now when it gets played, when the first few bars come in, it’s like Jay-Z’s just come on stage."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Woebot


"2005 was the year the record shop died. In London we lost Rhythm Records in Camden and Islington, Totem in Stoke Newington and Golden Grooves in Old Street. Worse, the stock of all the surviving stores (bar only Soul Jazz in Soho) lost its lustre for me. The geographical aspect of buying records and its attendant philosophies and abstractions evaporated, there was to be no more walking a mile for funky beats. Like I suspect many people I've wandered the globe buying records: West and East Coast US, Jamaica, Colombia, Morocco, Senegal, Egypt, Nepal, Kashmir, India, Thailand and practically every country in Europe. As of this year I don't think I'd ever travel anywhere ever again to buy a record - not to suggest that the vision music lays before won't entice me to travel."

"GEMM is comprehensive, eBay cheap. Other values gain precedence. Beyond the sheer ease of of buying in this manner and the delightful ability to actually lay your hands on what you're after, the new methods encourage the development of much more personal tastes (one is no longer held ransom by the limited cultural horizons of record store owners), open up excitingly transnational possibilities (vis a vis my Summer-long affair with German New Wave) as well as enabling one to tap into circuits internal to one's country which retail is too backward to represent (like Bhangra for instance). I'm almost entirely optimistic about the future, and it seems somewhat fitting that in the same way the Internet has become home to music journalism and downloading, it has now destroyed the record store."

Read more by Woebot, back after launching Dissensus, blogging on serious form

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Vex'd

Vex'd on 2005

"This year, off the back of our album release, we were lucky enough to play abroad a few times. Every time we played out, we were blown away by how closely people abroad are following this music. They’re downloading every Rinse set they can find, hunting down every Wiley record released, they're more on top of developments than some London producers."

"Overseas, promoters, producers and fans are showing a personal attachment and heartfelt commitment equal to anybody here - from the Megatron & The B.I.G. crew in San Fran, Shadetek & Maxximus in Berlin to Joe Nice in Baltimore."

"We're all so used to defining this music in terms of London, specific London boroughs even. But for me, it's bigger than that now. Maybe it's because we just don’t see how much is happening outside this city, maybe even, quietly, we lack the confidence to believe it. This scene is so much bigger than we think it is. That's been the main realisation for me this year."

Vex’d top 10 sounds for 2005

Slew Dem “Grime ft D Double”
Trim & Scratch “Trim & Scratch”
Distance “Traffic”
Loefah “Root”
Skream “Request Line”
Wiley “Colder Remix”
Burial "South London Borroughs EP"
Kode9, DJ set @ FWD>> October
B.I.G. Crew, Superheroes & Supervillains, San Francisco, October
Digital Mystikz with Skepta & crew, FWD>>, April

For more Vex'd info check their blog

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: Hattie Collins

Hattie Collins, editor RWD mag

A highlight of my year happened at this year’s Power Summit in the Bahamas. The palm trees and Caribbean waters were of course all jiggy, but more than that was seeing the interest the US DJs, producers and industry heads were showing in UK sounds. ‘Who’s hot? Can you hook us up with Lethal B? Have you got a number for Sway?’ UK music might not be selling here, true, but while it might not be making much money at the moment, it’s exciting to see the swell of interest in the sounds from abroad. Roll Deep getting ‘dropped’ from Relentless is further proof that signing to majors is the wrong route for our rhymers. Look overseas and I think we’ll find where the Ps are. A few weeks after the Summit I was in Paris with Wiley, Skepta, JME and Maximum and the French were going nuts. I know it’s not simple, but I think if the underground harnesses other technology, devises better marketing plans and expands its international horizons, it will really get somewhere.

I’ve always supported UK music in theory (Silver Bullett, Ty, Rodders P and Manuva), but to be honest I’ve never had a heartfelt passion for UK hip hop. Finally though, whether grime or in-betweeners like Sway, Klash and Plan B, I’ve fallen in love with a music that isn’t American. The UK’s voice is finally being heard and I can’t get enough of it. It’s distinctive and loud and beautifully British. As editor of RWD, I feel privileged to be one of the many people documenting the scene as it takes its inevitable twists and turns. Wherever it ends up, the journey is going to be real.

Hattie Collins' top, er 13 sounds:

Skream’s "Request Line"
Skepta’s Chantelle Fiddy lyric (b-rap!)
Merkle Man PAs at various clubs in London
Statik’s "Connected" album
Young Jeezy’s "Thug Motivation" album
Saigon’s "Abandoned Nation" mixtape
Jay Z and Nas making up by performing "Dead Presidents" onstage
Lil Kim’s "Lighters Up"
All and every Mizz Beats track and remix
Plan B four-track sampler
Don Corleone’s "Season’s" riddim
Klashnekoff "Focus Mode"
iD Live at Cargo

Read more of Hattie Collin's work on her blog or in RWD mag

Friday, December 09, 2005

Blackdown soundboy end of year review: intro and Logan Sama

Music magazines used to rock my world. Now I can't think of one that truly excites me, though I do enjoy writing for RWD. Mostly though I open tepid newspaper supplements and I'm either bored or angry, because I know there's amazing music out there yet they're not giving it to us.

Never is this more noticeable than at the end of the year, when list after list of albums and singles appear, none of which represent the many communities of committed music fans I see online. Surely the Coldplay album can't be everyone's favourite album?

Instead I've decided to do something positive. I've decided to organise the first Blackdown Soundboy End of Year Review - yet it wont be written by me. Last month I wrote to a selection of writers, bloggers, DJs, producers and artists that have excited me this year. All I asked of them was to reply to me with a few words about something they had felt strongly about this year. Not indifferent to, not kinda so-so about, but for better or worse something they really cared about.

I'm going to publish these responses once a day every day for the rest of the year, until they run out. Because fuckitt, I'm bored of waiting for Q, the NME, Mixmag or The Guardian arts review to represent us - we can represent ourselves.

Kicking things off is a grime DJ who's had a massive year.

Logan Sama on what he felt strongly about in 2005:

"People that make grime music are not stars. You can walk down most high streets in London and some people MIGHT just do a double take."

"Yet people are already starting to act like they are Jay Z and the scene is in its infancy. We have spent the last 6 years trying to get heard after UK garage disowned us all. The media is now paying attention and opportunity are there. Unfortunately people are getting greedy and lazy. Maybe they already were greedy and lazy to begin with. Who knows."

"And you know what is going to happen... the UK hip hop scene is going to run off with all the hype caused by a bunch of inner city kids rapping on a beat, use their far greater business, marketing and organisational skills and get all of that money that was headed into the grime scene."

"So if you are one of these guys who has found themselves not willing to do something for some stupid reason like you can't be bothered to get up on time, you don't want to work with this man because you think it is too 'mersh' for you, the promoter won't pay you the four figure fee you and only you believe you are worth or you think you are just too big to do it, check yourself for a minute. Because Sway will turn up and do it for less, probably put on a more professional show than you anyway and collect that realistic money you could have got. That's why he has a sweet P&D deal and you still spit on pirate radio and end up turning up to raves for £150 anyway."

"We've worked very hard for a very long time to get into this position. Let's not piss it away because of egos. By all means retain your artistic integrity, but don't act like a cock just because you got a couple forwards and sold 1000 white labels."

"Big up everyone putting the work in 2005. Here's to everyone seeing the fruits of their labour in 2006."

Check Logan's blog at
Check his unbeatable vocal grime show on Kiss 100

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

No longtings

Loe Horror Show
Originally uploaded by soulsnatcha.
A while ago I headed into south London to speak with dubstep pioneer Loefah. This is what got said...

Blackdown: Tell me how DMZ came about?

Loefah: We’ve known each other for years. The common link between us all for years has been music. We used to DJ and MC together. It was literally me, Mala, Coki, Pokes, Millitary Gee and our mate Mandeep. So it’s been years man, playing house parties, making pure mixtapes and dreaming about playing on pirate radio or at Metalheadz.

B: I know Mala Digital Mystikz was involved with Twice as Nice, were you around for the 2step days?

L: That was Mala’s thing. I went to the club a few times but I really detested garage, especially the kind of thing that got played at Twice as Nice. Fucking Dane Bowers DJing there and shit… you know what I mean? But I did go there, I was in his music video. It was all good, we were friends through it but nar, musically I had nothing to do with it.

B: So when did you feel differently about garage?

L: One of the reasons I hated ‘garage’ is because to me, it wasn’t garage. It wasn’t London garage. Jungle raves, back in the day. Do you remember the rave Stush? That used to be held at Chelsea Banqueting Suite, well it turned into a garage rave but it began as a jungle rave. I used to go to that and Dream FM bashes. It was the older lot that weren’t up for the pills. This was a more sophisticated, wise London lot than the Twice as Nice crowd, it was who have been raving, people who ‘still like raving but aren’t into going into all that madness.’ Second room was always a badboy thing. Garage was such a London sound. Garage was real, gritty London bassline shit. Old Freek FM, before that Girls FM – it was ‘aving it man. “House and garage.” Some proper Cockney bird trying to speak posh on the [pirate radio] advert.

L: So we were writing beats, always had been, and DJing had kinda died down. I was with this bird and I wasn’t mixing. I got with her and she actually broke my mixer. Not intentionally but she never replaced it so I stopped mixing. Yeah I did say this on the “Grime 2” album notes – rags! – I let her get in the way. I was in it, that’s where I was at that time of my life. I’d given up on music, I thought ‘that was then’ – because I wanted to be Goldie, man, before this. Basically.

L: But yeah we were writing beats, I was working with Mala at this debt collecting company. Mala was starting to really take the music production seriously. He went to college to learn about it in the evenings. He’s proper dedicated, Mala. He used to come back and chat to me, he’d have a new beat he’d done on Reason, cos that was what we were using then. To tell the truth he was writing a lot of house then, but dark house.

L: Somehow Hatcha had got one of Mala’s tracks, I think Hatcha knew Mala from the garage days. But I’d never heard of him before. So Mala must have said ‘yeah this DJ might be playing my thing’ so I went with him, and it was at Forward>> and I was like ‘rah.’ It was different, it kinda had Metalheadz vibes to it. Some of the tracks were bad. It wasn’t quite what I was on, but it was the nearest thing. As the same time I’d just lost interest in drum & bass, I wasn’t looking to make music on that level. So I heard Hatcha, all the bongos, I heard Youngsta play a lot of 8bar/early grime. I remember him playing one of Wiley’s beatless ‘Devil Mixes’ and that really turned my head. So I went home and made some beats but there wasn’t a name for it, I found out a couple of months after it was called dubstep after I’d written some. We were just calling it ‘138 shit,’ after the tempo. ‘What you writing?’ ‘Some 138 shit.’

L: I started writing beats but just sitting on them. I finished ‘Indian’ in January and gave it to Hatcha in August. Mala used to cuss me hard you know? ‘What are you doing with them? You’ve made them to sit on your hard drive? Go down to Big Apple and pass them to Hatcha.’ And I was like ‘well I don’t know Hatcha, what if he sits there and goes ‘fuck off?’ And Mala said: ‘and what if he does?’ So I went down there and played it to him and I thought they were taking the piss when they liked it. Skream was in there and Chef was in there. I was like ‘rah’ and got a bit shaky over it, and went upstairs to listen to some records and thought ‘fucking hell, what was that all about?’ Next thing I went down to Forward>> and he played ‘Indian’ and it was like ‘rah.’ That was how we got there really.

B: How does it work, with you, Coki and Mala all part of DMZ and all producing?

L: There isn’t any rules. We all write beats. To be honest I usually hear their beats before they’ve been cut - but not always. Now I don’t even ask Mala for beats because I play back to back with him so much. I could spend pure money cutting these wicked Mala beats but he’s only going to play them before me.

B: I get a sense of what your style and Mala’s styles are, and in some ways it’s almost like they’re mirror images of each other. Some of your ultra dark ‘down’ halfstep contrasts strongly with Mala’s energetic ‘up’ vibe. Any idea how that happened?

L: It’s organic. He makes beats that gets him going in the club, so do I. We all come from the same musical background, so the link between our tunes might be tenuous but you can see it. It’s a Norwood thing.

B: The DMZ sets have never got boring because of the different styles you can both draw for…

L: We’ve never discussed them because there’s nothing to discuss. We don’t plan nothing, except the intro. There’s no communication needed. I listen to what he plays then I think ‘bwoy, where am I taking it?’ I swear it’s because of our background at Metalheadz, when we used to go raving in ’96-97. I know Mala loved Randal. You say ‘of course’ but that wasn’t my preference. Mine was Digital or Doc Scott. I remember the baddest Metalheadz set I ever heard was by Digital. It was just halfstep, dubby … and I didn’t know it was ‘dubby’ at the time because I didn’t know what dub was. All I knew was junglehardcoredrum&bass.

B: it’s very strange to hear you talking about Metalheadz because if you trace back the roots of dubstep a lot of it came from El-B going to Metalheadz. He was obsessed, he hung around with them boys but they never let him ‘in’ as a producer. So he was into garage but it wasn’t dark enough like Metalheadz, so he started taking Groove Chronicles and Ghost darker… and that’s the birth of dubstep. It’s amazing to hear now how you were inspired by that club because we’re getting on for ten years since the Blue Note days.

L: It was phenomenal what they started there. I started going out raving when I was 14. I used to go to this under 18s rave in Tollworth in Epsom called Teen Rage, but it was ruff. I saw Kenny Ken, Mickey Finn and Slipmatt, all the top DJs from that year plus the resident DJs Squirrel and Nutty One. The first bigman’s rave I went to was Dream All Night 5 at Labyrinth. I was 14. I was 6 foot when I was 14. I never had a growth spurt, I stopped growing at 13.

B: Is it a fluke that both Metalheadz and Digital Mystikz abbreviate to the same three letters? MDZ … DMZ?

L: Yes … I didn’t even know that… fucking hell. That is uncanny, fucking nuts. I’m gonna bell Mala after this… have you told him yet?

B: What this about DeMilitarized Zone?

L: DMZ doesn’t mean DeMilitarized Zone though. But it does. Do you know about graffiti? Crews? Ever heard of FDC. Ever heard of Sur? A big writer who’s crew was FDC. FDC meant For Da Cause, For Da City and Fuck Da Cunts.
This is the same principle as DMZ because it can mean Digital Mystikz but I’m not Digital Mystikz, I’m not part of that [strictly speaking Digital Mystikz is Mala and Coki on production, whereas DMZ is the night and label, which Loefah is part of], but DMZ can mean DeMilitarized Zone and also anything else. What ever you put in there, it doesn’t matter.

B: What do you feel about jungle people like Klute, Chris Inperspective, Fracture and Amit turning up at DMZ?

L: Well I don’t know their backgrounds but I haven’t experienced turning up to a rave like DMZ with the bass just ‘whooooooooom’ and it’s just one room, since jungle. Other clubs have a nice pretty bar and a chill out zone. DMZ though, is ‘if you don’t like this, fuck off.’ It’s a dark room with true, warm sub bass. It’s not this drum & bass compressed madness, though there is some bass in drum & bass, but we’re talking the stuff that turned me off it, the mid-rangy, nasty noises. But DMZ has a vibe, it just feels young.

L: But of all those producers, Klute is the one I know personally. It freaks me out he comes down because he’s someone I know is a badboy, he someone who’s records I used to buy. He’s asked me to use some of my music for Commercial Suicide, not to put out on a 12” but for a mix CD. He’s cool, he just knows about jungle. We’ve chatted about films, he told me about this [the Star Wars prequel] THX 1138 film, telling me how dark it is and sample-heavy.

B: DJ Shadow ripped it to pieces…

L: I dunno you can always find something, a door opening, anything.

B: Since a lot of people, particularly Horsepower, have done film dialog sampling so exceptionally well, doesn’t that mean it should perhaps be avoided?

L: I dunno, I haven’t done it for a while. I still do use little words, just not long sections. I think it’s important, it references things and sends your mind off on different thought paths. I think this whole rave thing in Britain, which what we’re doing is a mutation of, one fundamental thing throughout virtually all of the styles is that on one level it’s dance music but on the other it’s mind music.

B: Was the dialog in ‘Goat Stare’ from the documentary where the US military tried to kill goats by focusing their minds on them?

L: Sort of, it was. But I didn’t watch it - Youngsta did. And he got scared. ‘What if someone stares at me, and I don’t know about it, and they stop my heart?’ I said there wasn’t a lot he could do about it but it did remind me of a film called ‘Scanners.’ So I decided to sample it, make a tune and call it ‘Goat Stare.’

B: Some of your early tracks, especially ‘Jungle Infiltrator’ were very percussive. Then after that you created a whole batch of tunes – ‘Woman,’ ‘Midnight,’ ‘Goat Stare’ – that defined whole flavour of ultra minimal Loefah halfstep. How did that switch come about?

L: Logic. Getting Logic and getting fed up with bongos. I went into Apple one day and played Hatcha a tune and he went ‘there it is, the Loefah hi hat line.’ And I was like ‘oh’. So I decided from then on to keep things interesting. Then, it was Ministry of Sound, Youngsta played there with a stupid limiter and on my tunes all you could hear was the hi hats. That was it. It was fucking horrible. I realised I needed to sort my production out. I listen back to my Apple and Rephlex tunes and I cringe. I’m glad I did them but after that I thought about learning how this [music production] shit really works.

L: I was listening to beats and thinking I want the loudest mixdown in the world. I want a loud, clean mixdown with the emphasis on the clean. I got a Mac, Logic and went in. I had Kode 9 on the phone for the whole of the first night. My first production was ‘Horror Show.’ I found the ES2 and the siren synth, and the ES1 and found a beautiful bass. Listening to that bass I was like ‘fuck it’ I’m going to do it halfstep. I’m gonna strip it back, I was listening to a lot of Photek at the time. It’s minimal. It’s the placement. Think about the ‘Bleeps’ tune. The beats are still intricate but there’s still space in between them.

B: I always figured that the halfstep idea came through grime, particularly Wonder’s ‘What.’

L: Yeah, blatantly, grime was an influence. I knew of ‘What’ but I couldn’t have named it at the time. So it must have been indirectly. Also, if I’m honest, Missy Elliot’s beats were a factor. Because the way I see it, space is just as much of an instrument as a kick or a snare. You need peaks and troughs.

L: Production: I haven’t clocked it though, I’m still working on it. I’m really looking at getting into using breaks, you know? Not making ‘breaks’, not what they call ‘breaks’ but making my halfstep stuff and adding some little fills, finding a nice take on it. I love a good beat, it fucking kills me.

B: You’ve recently been in the studio with Oris Jay, working on a tune and chopping up breaks. That’s cool to hear because you could argue that perhaps halfstep has gone as far as it can go. You’ve taken beats out to get to halfstep, what else can you take out? You either get to a ‘Devil Mix’ or ‘Sign of the Dub’, which has been done, or you add on. This is interesting because a lot of people have currently adopted the halfstep ideas you came with…

L: That’s the madness man, because people talk about all this ‘no energy’ thing in the scene, and I do feel kind of responsible, but I wasn’t making halfstep because I didn’t like up tempo. I made it because I like it when you have an ‘up’ vibe, then you drop a halfstep and it drops … and you’ve got variety in your sets. This is why I love the Mala thing, what we do in our sets.

B: Increasingly dubstep’s audience isn’t exclusively from London, so perhaps from a distance the city’s parts can’t be resolved, it seems like a homogenous whole. But I know you’re someone who’s quite loyal to south London and subscribes to this tribal, endz view. Is London homogenous or are there exclusive human characteristics in certain districts?

L: I’m proud to live in south London and I do love it. I put ‘SE25’ as part of my remix names because that’s part of me. I do identify that there’s different areas of London, and that it changes from area-to-area. There’s different rules, everywhere. I feel at home in south London - not south-west or south-east - but south of Brixton and north of Croydon. Anywhere in there – the London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark or Croydon – and I’m cool. They’re three places I’ve lived in London. Croydon is where I grew up and where I know the best. A lot of Croydon I’m not into but Norwood’s great.

L: The way I see London is that Londoners don’t know where London is. Because when you get into London you don’t live ‘in London’ anymore you live in Norwood, you live in Peckham or you live in Bow. If you’re asked “where are you going?” a lot of people would say “I’m going up London.” What London is basically is a lot of villages. Urbanised, built up, overlapping villages. I suppose because you don’t have physical boundaries, you kinda create your own boundaries. I think it’s more a jovial thing…

B: But you seem to take it very seriously…

L: I wouldn’t want to live in north or east London because they’re a different place. They’re not me, they’re not home. It’s just certain things you get used to. I like south London because it’s a lot more open, even in a lot of the most built up areas there’s still a lot of breathing space. Think about Hackney, or Stoke Newington… they’re all just “on top.” It’s more like countryside in south London, it’s more open.

B: It’s telling about the perceived differences between bits of south London. You mention Peckham and Norwood. To north Londoners they can’t be resolved, they’re all south. But north Londoners would never put consider Hackney and Stoke Newington as similar in a social context. I guess it’s all about familiarity.

L: Blatantly. Because I know about 5% of London.

B: Yeah but that’s what makes it so enthralling. I came off the buss turned down a darkly lit road towards your house tonight and suddenly I was in some part of London I’d never ever been to before. I love that.

L: I love that too. But yeah I love south London because of the familiarity and because of the culture, because of what I perceive in south that isn’t anywhere else. It probably is, but it’s just manifested itself in a different way.

B: Let me ask this then. I really like the link between dubstep and London…

L: … I think it’s essential…

B: … and London is a multicultural place. My feeling is if you get people that grow up in multicultural places, they’ll understand each other better. That’s one of the fundamental reasons why I like urban music. Now we’re at a point where dubstep looks like for the first time the boundaries of some of its producers and fan base have expanding beyond London and the UK and I’m really curious about what’s going to happen next.

L: No one knows what’s going to happen next. As long as I’m writing beats I’m happy with, I’m cool to do that. Other people are free to do what they want, even if sometimes you despise what they’re doing, it’s a free country and you can’t say nothing.

B: I just hope the spirit of that multiculturalism and a lot of the soundsystem and Jamaican culture that you guys have brought through stays with the sound.

L: Do you think it’s understanding of Jamaican culture or do you think it’s an understanding of London culture? Because I would argue for the latter.

B: OK how about ‘soundsystem’ culture?

L: I dunno, I wouldn’t say I know a huge amount about soundsystem culture and what I do I know because of jungle. And I’ve learnt about jungle because of London. I’ve learnt a lot about dub since I’ve been doing dubstep. I knew a bit before but I think we’re writing beats that we would naturally write because of the sounds that have surrounded us as we’ve grown up. You can reference them but I don’t think it’s a Jamaican thing, not for me. Because I’m not Jamaican and I haven’t got a reference to Jamaica. We didn’t chose DMZ to be held in Brixton because of the black population of Brixton, we chose that place [3rd Base part of Mass] because it has been responsible for the badest dances. Soul 2 Soul used to do a dance across the road. St Mathew’s church [aka Mass] is old school from London dub. Seriously though, a lot of dub was written in London.

L: So with good soundsystems – that’s standard. We don’t understand it when people don’t deal with it. It’s what we’ve always been into for years. Every boy in Norwood I swear had a 12” sub in his house and has been blasting out to his neighbours. It’s what you do. Speakers and good sound is essential. Even down to people who get good sets for their cars. You gotta hear your music properly. And we’ve always listened to sub heavy music.

B: You’ve got 12”s coming out on Tectonic, DMZ, Hotflush Remix and maybe Tempa. You pleased?

L: I am but I’d prefer to have good mixdowns. I don’t know… I’m striving for something, I just want this mixdown. This sound. I’m not quite there yet but each track is a step towards it. But then you lose momentum because production ends up being about ‘this noise’ and you spend all day doing it and you won’t have written a beat.

B: It’s something producers get very concerned with, that the sound of their sound is more important than the emotion of their sound or the arrangement of their sound.

L: It’s about striking that balance.

B: What’s it like working with Skream?

L: Wicked he’s the easiest person to work with in the world. His persona in the studio is 100% focused. We’ve got this [new] thing… we’ve just got to arrange it.

B: How did you end up collaborating with Oris Jay?

L: I said ‘do you want to go on a beat?’ he said yes and sent me ‘Mighty Crown.’ It was wicked though. Oris is a badman. He showed me some stuff in Logic, that was sick. He’s old school. He knows, he knows about production I don’t know about. That’s why I love working with him.

B: Is there anyone else you’d like to collaborate with?

L: Yeah, Kode 9. I think he’s just got it. What he does is bad. The vocal, Hyperdub stuff. I love it. His use of space… “Subkontinent,” “Ping” … all the Rephlex tunes. The stuff they chose to do is fucking wicked. It’s complete subversion and it works. I want to write a good bassline for Space Ape.

L: I also want to work with Jay from Vex’d. I’m planning to ring him. He knows his shit. I want to work with The Bug as well.

B: At one point you were trying to both finish a fine art degree and work on an album. What kind of art were you interested in?

L: I was really into documentary photography but that wasn’t what the course was about. It was more of the Goldsmiths school of thought – installation driven, conceptual art. Ideas. It was a lot of theory and written work. It’s weird… it was very interesting. It wasn’t like being as Slade where you’d be painting or life drawing every day. This course was more about what you were going to do than how you did it. It was theoretical than technical. You know Damian Hurst? You know the painting he did that’s just a white background and some dots on it? The dot’s are equidistant from each other, all different colours. He didn’t paint it - but it’s attributed to him. He’s got a team of girls that follow him around, his assistants. It was his painting but he didn’t put any paint on it, himself. He came up with the idea, said ‘this is what it’s going to look like, now crack on and do it for me.’

B: How much of these kinds of ideas overlap with the music you make?

L: There’s a huge overlap, on the conceptual side. It’s the same: it’s creation. You’re making something from nothing. It’s understanding what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. If I hadn’t done that degree I’d probably be out now sweating, looking for a career. Because I did that degree I understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. And I’ve got to stick with it really.

B: That’s not to be underestimated. It’s pretty rare that people truly know why they’re doing what they’re doing.

L: Obviously I’ve got to get a job soon, unless music starts paying me. I’ve gotta get something just to pay the rent. A part time somting’. But a career means devoting your life to it, taking work home with you. But I’ve already got work at home, that’s my music. That is my focus. That’s what I do.

B: A lot of people think that if your name is known in music you’re making a career out of it. But that doesn’t seem to be the case any more.

L: Yeah. This is what it is. You either like it or you don’t: it’s not making any money.

B: I guess this way there’ll be no people in dubstep ‘for the money’ like people jumped into jungle or 2step. Because making money out of dubstep… I don’t know anyone who’s ever done it.

L: I could sit down and try and write a pop tune, but that’s not where my head’s at. I like sound. I wouldn’t like to get into pop, though I’d like to be a badboy producer one day. Work with amazing artists but not bubble gum pop.

B: I’m guessing the album project is on hold …

L: Yeah man. When it’s ready it’s ready. It will either be or it wont. I think me doing an album now is running before I can walk. I’m too fussy about my sound and that’s why I can’t put an album together. It doesn’t work for me.

B: You do seem disappointed with levels of quality other people would kill to get to…

L: My sound ain’t there yet. It’s getting there. I want to be better than everyone. I want to have the best mixdown. The best, cleanest mixdown in the universe. Not even to boast, but when I hear it I’m like ‘ahh … that’s crystal.’

B: Do you think that will ever be achievable?

L: Fuckitt, I dunno. That’s how we drive ourselves. We strive for the unachievable. That’s human nature.

B: So how do you feel about Fruity Loops?

L: The affordability and availability of it is good. But I despise Fruity. Skream is the only exception to the rule. He does things that shouldn’t be possible with that program.

B: Skepta said that to me about Skream as well.

L: I’ve given up trying to get Skream onto Logic because he’s just writing bullets. He’s on fire, he’s fucking amazing. He took the piss with ‘Ancient Memories.’ He took liberties with that tune, it’s amazing. Skream is my favourite producer. Seriously right now I couldn’t tell you anyone who comes close. It’s the truth. It’s all about Skream and then it’s all about Coki. I don’t know what happened. Coki was writing bad beats and then something happened and he came with ‘Haunted.’ Since then it’s been next level. Coki’s in overdrive. He’s silly: I’m well into what Coki does.

B: You remixed Nasty Crew. What’s your thoughts on grime?

L: I think grime’s wicked. But it’s not really what I’m about. I’d like to work with a couple of MCs, but literally a couple. But I’d be writing a track for us, not Sidewinder. But yeah, grime I think it’s ruff, I like what they’re doing. I like the energy. But it’s not me.

B: It must be nice having the DMZ rave be so successful?

L: It’s fantastic. Fucking crazy - I can’t even explain the feeling. That night is like coming full circle, from listening to pirates, going to raves, wanting to DJ. Suddenly we’re producing, we’ve been signed, to we’ve go our own dance of our label. It’s real full circle. It’s always been on the cards though: we’ve always talked about putting on the baddest jungle dance on. But we’ve always been about not rushing into things. ‘Nah, that’s not right.’ Things have to be right. Don’t fit a round peg into a square hole with a hammer.

Pitchfork end of year

Pitchfork end of year review.

Friday, December 02, 2005


It's 8am and my eyes hurt. I'm knackered, just like I was the night before... before I'd even been out.

I had one of those moments last night, when really it could have gone either way. 11:30pm, standing in your own warm, dry house thinking: "I've been tired for about 15 hours. I've only been home for about two since someone pulled the alarm on the tube in the carriage I was in and everyone cleared out for fear of having their limbs blown off by a suspect rucksack. Clearly the sane thing to do is to walk the four steps to bed and pass the fuck out."

But somehow compulsive insanity prevails and I find myself jumping in the car, slipping in the Slimzee's Rinse Sessions CD ft. Riko Dan and Gift and slicing through dark, damp streets in the car, heading away from sleep and painless eyes, not towards them.

Then I'm on the dancefloor at FWD>>. The Bug smiles his usual smile, Fiddy's getting lairy, Kode's looking standardly chilled, Mala DMZ's meditating deeply, Target passes through, Skepta's shocking out and the German film crew who've been ringing all week have finally showed up.

Tubby is on the decks, Newham Generals are on the mic - and they're busting up the dance.

Tubby rolls with a 10" record box. You'd have to snap a 12" to fit it in there, which says it all really. He draws for a lush selection of grime, straddling that subtle yet crucial feeling/impact divide. Tunes with mad oboes or pitchbent melodies grab the ears; lyrics and b-lines grab the gut.

"Like birds in the sky..." spits D Double. It's going off. Not in a usual FWD>> 'stand around, muted respect for that immense bass weight' kinda going off, but a 'bumbaclaart, lighters in the air, hands in the just don’t care, screaming, shouting blup blup blup draw for that riddim rightnow blud' kinda way.

Tubby's rolling through.

Jammer needs restraining. Sedating even. A straight jacket at the very least, because that way he won't be able to reload 'Request Line' for the sixth time. Yes, no lie, it got licked back five times in Tubby's set and the tune's flippin' 12 months old. "You're trying to start a riot Tubby blud," jokes Footsie as his DJ abandons trying to mix out of it for the fifth time and simply has to put a brand new riddim on before Jammer breaks the needle in half.

So, all in all, fuck sleep. Myman told me it was the cousin of death anyway... spiritual death.